Chapter

Introduction: How to Prepare a Noble Savage: The Spectacle of Human Science

Christopher Fox

in Inventing Human Science

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780520200104
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916227 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520200104.003.0001
Introduction: How to Prepare a Noble Savage: The Spectacle of Human Science

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Central to the intellectual revolution of the Enlightenment was the ambition of creating the science of man. That the human and social sciences were born during the eighteenth century is a largely accepted view. In his project, David Hume shared with contemporaries a new-felt need to account for moral as natural things. Science itself has been the subject of vast scrutiny, both as a system of inquiry and in respect to its global impact. In the ensuing turmoil, people have heard much about the mystifications of scientific rationality, notably through the writings of Michael Foucault. The last several decades have also seen an explosion in eighteenth-century studies and new techniques of inquiry which have insisted that we should not take the scientific rhetoric at face value.

Keywords: Enlightenment; social science; human nature; Michael Foucault; David Hume; scientific rhetoric

Chapter.  13754 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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